Thursday, August 23, 2012

But it doesn't hurt...

A frantic lady arrived, screaming "He's choking, he's choking! My baby is choking!"

The technician who answered the door quickly took at look at the 3lb hairless chihuahua who was clearly not choking.  He growled as she approached him to look at his mucous membrane color.  His vitals were normal, and he and his family were placed in an exam room so I could come take a look.

I entered the room, introduced myself as usual, and asked the client what she'd been seeing at home. Clutching the dog to her chest, she told me that the dog had eaten some cat food and suddenly started choking so she rushed right in.

I tried to get a look at her dog, but she clutched him closer, burying him in between her breasts.  Without touching something inappropriately (which I was obviously not willing to do), there was no way for me to access even one square inch of her 3 pound dog.

"You're going to have to put Zorro on the table so I can take a look at him," I said.  "I can't see him when you've got him held that tightly to your body."

She set Zorro on the exam table, and then leaned over, burying him again in her generous bosom.

"Ma'am, I am really sorry, but I need you to allow me to see your dog and get my hands on him so I can help you figure out what the problem is.  You can hold on to him with your hands, but you'll have to take a step back from the table so he's not buried in your ..... body."

Finally, she complied.  At this point, Zorro started to show his true colors.  He growled, snapped and snarled when I even attempted to place a stethoscope on his chest.  He refused to allow me to look at his face, and forget thinking about approaching his mouth.

The client picked Zorro up and clutched him desperately, as if I'd beat him with a bat.

"I'm sorry, I'm not going to be able to look in Zorro's mouth," I said.  "He's too scared and aggressive, and if I get near his face, he's going to bite me."

"He doesn't BITE!" the client shrieked, and at the exact time, Zorro proceeded to bite her hands and fingers 5-10 times, repeatedly.  "HE DOES NOT BITE!"

"Ma'am...... he's biting you right now....." I said, incredulous that I was having this conversation with an adult.

"Well, it doesn't HURT.  You just need to stick your finger down his throat! He's choking!"

"It's irrelevant how much it hurts if he bites me; I can't have your dog biting me at all.  First of all, I don't think he's choking based upon his physical appearance, but if you still want me to be able to look in his mouth, he'll need to be sedated. My hands are vital to me being able to do my job, and I can't be bitten by my patients; not to mention the risk of infection....." (Really?!? Do I really need to explain why I can't be bitten by a dog?)

The client refused to have her dog sedated, and I offered him some food, which he ate.  Pets who are choking can't and don't eat, so I tried to explain to her, again, that he doesn't appear to be choking and she can watch him at home for any problems.

As medical records must be complete and accurate, I filled in the section for oral cavity exam, truthfully: "not able to examine, patient will bite."

The client was furious, and demanded I retype the medical record, because of course...... her dog doesn't bite!

Of course I refused to falsify my medical record, and the client stormed out.  Really?!?


  1. wow! some people are crazy LOL!! you are a very patient person x

    Charlene and Stormy

  2. "Ma'am.... he's biting you right now" BAHAHAHA. Thanks doc, I needed that this morning.

  3. Wow, unbelievable that the client demanded this!! People are ridiculous.

    Veterinarian Hospital in Bucks County

  4. "...not able to examine, CLIENT will bite."

    Geez. Where do these people come from?

  5. That was hilarious. I've lots of people tell their dog won't bite, but never WHILE THE DOG WAS BITING THEM!!

  6. He's not choking, ma'am, he's being strangled in your bosom...